Thomas Andrews

Thomas Andrews Advanced Maintenance Mechanics Graduate Spring 2024

How did you hear about CHICAT?
I found CHICAT from a booth set up at a Chicago Urban League job fair.

Why did you decide to come?
What drew me to CHICAT was my desire to enter a technical field of work. I needed a way to build valuable skills without investing a substantial amount of money, which I found out was quite rare. CHICAT only asked for my dedication and time, so the decision was easy!

What keeps you coming?
The staff. Everyone is dedicated to helping the students succeed, even beyond my immediate teacher. They are incredibly understanding and I felt supported every step of the way.

What has been the best part of the AMM class?
The best part has been the environment. It’s something special to be surrounded by people working towards the same goal as you. CHICAT is truly a community, where we all worked together to create the best class we could and enjoy our time as we chased our goals.

Which certification tests have you taken and passed? How does it feel to pass the certification tests?
I have completed the MSSC Certified Production Technician 4.0, which consists of 4 subtests about how the industry works and the knowledge necessary to maintain industrial machines. Each test was difficult, so passing always reminded me that my effort was paying off. 

What has been the hardest part?
The hardest part was staying committed. Life doesn’t always make it easy, so continuing to put in time and effort was more difficult at points. However, I’m glad I stuck with it, and thankful for the support from my instructor and fellow classmates.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about the classes or someone in the class who is struggling?
Remember that we are all responsible for our own success. CHICAT wants all students to do well, but the only way to ensure that you reach your goals is to take charge of your own growth. Spend extra time learning, ask about opportunities you’re interested in, and keep yourself active and engaged!

What are your plans following CHICAT?
I intend to go to college for engineering, utilizing the base knowledge I gained here to set myself apart.


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